Steps to follow to apply for Maintenance
- Go to the magistrate's court in the district where you reside.
- Complete and submit Form A: The Application for a maintenance order.
In addition to completing this form, you also need to submit proof of your monthly income and expenditure, for example receipts for food purchases, electricity and/or rent bill payments.
- The court will then set a date on which you and the respondent (the person from whom you claim maintenance) must be present.
- Once you have lodged your application a maintenance officer and an investigator will look into your claim and circumstances.
- The court will then serve a summons on the respondent to appear at court on the specific date.
- The respondent then has two choices, either agreeing to pay the maintenance, or contesting the matter in court.
- If the respondent agrees to pay the maintenance, a magistrate will review the relevant documentation and will make an order; such an order can be made in your absence.
- If the respondent decides not to consent to the issuance of such an order, he/she must appear in court, where evidence from both parties and their witnesses, if any will be heard.
- If the court finds the person liable to maintenance, it will make an order for the amount of maintenance to be paid. The court will also determine when and how maintenance payments must be made.
- The court can order maintenance money to be paid in one of the following ways:
- At the local magistrate's office or any other government office designated for this purpose
- Into the bank or building society account designated by the person concerned
- Directly to the person who is entitled to the money
- By means of an order that directs the employer of the person who is liable for paying maintenance to deduct the maintenance payment directly from the employee's salary, in accordance with the new Maintenance Act, 1998